​ARM buys Offspark, a Dutch startup working on 'SSL for things'

ARM has acquired another Internet of Things startup that will improve the security of its mbed OS.

ARM has bolstered its new mbed OS for Internet of Things devices with the acquisition of a Netherlands-based security software firm, Offspark.

The acquisition, announced today, gives the UK-based ARM Offspark's PolarSSL technology, which the company claims is the most widely deployed transport layer security system (TLS) for encrypting traffic between for embedded devices.

PolarSSL is an open source SSL library that is used in a variety of devices and actually became part of ARM last year.

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Offspark's LinkedIn profile says it is a consultancy that specialises in "Cyber Security, Digital Espionage, Cryptography and High-Tech Business Development". It also maintains PolarSSL.

However, with the acquisition of OffSpark, ARM says it will be rebranding PolarSSL to fit with its new mbed operating system for IoT devices. It will now be known as ARM mbed TLS. ARM says the technology will remain open source and will be available to developers for commercial use.

ARM launched mbed as a free OS last October with a dozen partners including IBM, Freescale, Ericsson, NXP, and some European mobile carriers, such as Telefonica. The first production devices using the OS are expected this year.

According to ARM, most of the companies that already using PolarSSL also use its own ARM Cortex processor.

ARM intends on releasing mbed OS under an Apache 2.0 licence in late 2015, which will include mbed TLS, as well as Thread, the ARM, Nest and Samsung backed low-power, IPv6-using networking protocol that was launched last July.

Along with the free mbed OS launch, ARM released the mbed device server to securely manage devices and ease the path for developers to integrate them with cloud services.

Prior to that launch, ARM had also acquired Finnish IoT and cloud startup Sensinode, whose software powers street lighting systems, electric meters and building automation systems.

According to ARM, mbed TLS 1.3.10 is now available under GPL and to existing PolarSSL customers on polarssl.org.

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